As 2010 comes to a close this week we have a great opportunity to look back at our music making this year. How much music did we make? What projects did we complete? What songs did we write, record, mix, share? It’s important to ask these questions not just for sake of reliving some memories, but rather extract information about what we learned and how we can harness that to make better music in the coming new year.

 

TRR56 Questions to Wrap Up the Year

Via Susanne Nilsson Flickr

What Is Your Pace?

Looking back this year, on average how long did it take you to complete a project? Whether it was a single song or a whole album, what was your pace? Do you bang things out quickly, or do you drag recordings on and on never quite ready to stop?

Deciphering your project pace is important so you can improve it next year. Not that creating music in your home studio is a race, but working efficiently always trumps working aimlessly. If you find that it took you on average 10 hours to mix a song, look to trim that down sizably in 2011 so you can be freed up to make more music.

What Techniques Did You Learn?

Recording and producing music is obviously more than a simple  equation of proper technique + the “right” equipment. Instead it is the constant accumulation of tips, techniques, and experiences that help you think creatively and solve “problems” as you try and capture a performance. That being said, what techniques did you accumulate in 2010 that were breakthrough moments for your recordings?

Sometimes it’s not even something “new” but rather a reminder that helps you get back on track. For me one of these reminders was to not record so hot into my DAW. This one simple reminder can go a long way to ensuring better recordings and I will definitely be implementing this strategy moving forward on projects this next year.

What Sounds Did You Discover?

In order to make and produce good music you need to listen to and love good music yourself. You probably listened to a lot of music this year; what of that did you like? Any new artists you liked? If so, why? What sounds did you discover or hear that just moved you and got you excited about creating music of your own? Try and write some of those down and re-create them in your own projects.

For example, you could have heard an effected drum kit sound that really created a groove that had you hooked. Why not describe what about that sound you like and try to implement it in your own studio? Was there a guitar tone or style that felt fresh? Try to bring that into your next session. This is how you begin to grow, you hear things you like, try to mimic them on your own and eventually that evolves into something unique and new. All the while it’s genesis lies in something that YOU personally enjoy. Crucial.

Moving Forward…

At The Recording Revolution, my goal is for you to make better music NOW! Not later, not hopefully in the future, but right now in your present. 2011 is days away, and I want you to take what you’ve learned from this year and use it to your advantage. You can already make better music now than you did 12 months ago, so tap into that and get  busy!

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